New England Patriots

The internet and social media caught fire when rumors swirled about the Patriots trading Rob Gronkowski. The move, of course, never happened, nor was it considered on Friday. But it was reportedly considered earlier in the offseason.

NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran and Mike Giardi both reported that the Patriots had Gronkowski trade talks at one point earlier in the offseason. Freelance reporter Adam Kurkjian, formerly of the Boston Herald, took those reports much further, tweeting prior to them that the Pats had deals in place with both the 49ers and Titans for Gronkowski. He also reported that Tom Brady threatened to retire if the deal went through, and that Robert Kraft ultimately nixed the whole thing.

Kurkjian joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Monday to discuss his tweet, which certainly received a lot of blowback. He stood by his report, which was much more detailed and salacious than what came from Curran or Giardi. Patriots PR head Stacey James also denied Kurkjian’s report, saying that “none of it is true.”

Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady high-five during a 2017 game between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos. The Patriots won 41-16. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady high-five during a 2017 game between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos. The Patriots won 41-16. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

“I did cover the Pats for several years at the Herald, and over that time you build up information and sources that people come to you with,” said Kurkjian. “You don’t just sort of go with stuff that people tell you right away, because the trust that you build over time is what gave me the ability to sort of know that the information was being fed [about the Gronkowski rumors] was actually correct.”

Kurkjian described one of his sources as “someone in the sports community” who has given him information in the past that had proven to be correct. He added that he learned of the reported detail about Brady threatening retirement before anything else, and that he “went an extra mile” to get confirmation on the info in his tweet from another source. He also got further confirmation after the fact.

Listen above for the full interview!

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